Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao

Overview
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

 of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

 since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China
President of the People's Republic of China
The President of the People's Republic of China is a ceremonial office and a part of State organs under the National People's Congress and it is the head of state of the People's Republic of China . The office was created by the 1982 Constitution...

 since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

 since 2004, succeeding Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 as the chief of the fourth generation of leadership
Generations of Chinese leadership
Because both the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army promote according to seniority, it is possible to discern distinct generations of Chinese leadership...

 of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

.

Hu has been involved in the Communist party bureaucracy for most of his adult life, notably as Party secretary
Party chief of the Communist Party of China
In the Politics of the People's Republic of China, a party chief , variously called a party boss, and officially termed the Communist Party Committee Secretary for a certain region, is the leader of the local Communist Party of China division, and in most cases, the de facto first-in-charge of its...

 for Guizhou
Guizhou
' is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its provincial capital city is Guiyang.- History :...

 province and the Tibet Autonomous Region
Tibet Autonomous Region
The Tibet Autonomous Region , Tibet or Xizang for short, also called the Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China , created in 1965....

, and then later first Secretary of the CPC Secretariat and Vice-President
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
The Vice President of the People's Republic of China , formerly called Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China from 1954 to 1975, or abbreviated Guójiā Fù Zhǔxí 国家副主席, literally State Vice-chairman) is a senior position in the government of the People's Republic of China.-Selection and...

 under former leader Jiang Zemin.
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Quotations

We are ready to expand the friendly people-to-people exchanges and enhance exchanges and cooperation in science, technology, culture, education, and other areas.

The Chinese and the Americans are great peoples. The Americans are optimistic, full of enterprising drive, down to earth, and innovative. In just over 200 years, they have turned the United States into the most developed country in the world, and made phenomenal achievements in economic development and science and technology.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the 21st century has entrusted people around the world with a lasting historic mission: That is to maintain world peace, promote common development and create a brighter future for mankind. Let us work together with the international community to build a world of enduring peace, common prosperity and harmony. Hu Jintao

Encyclopedia
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

 of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

 since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China
President of the People's Republic of China
The President of the People's Republic of China is a ceremonial office and a part of State organs under the National People's Congress and it is the head of state of the People's Republic of China . The office was created by the 1982 Constitution...

 since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

 since 2004, succeeding Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 as the chief of the fourth generation of leadership
Generations of Chinese leadership
Because both the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army promote according to seniority, it is possible to discern distinct generations of Chinese leadership...

 of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

.

Hu has been involved in the Communist party bureaucracy for most of his adult life, notably as Party secretary
Party chief of the Communist Party of China
In the Politics of the People's Republic of China, a party chief , variously called a party boss, and officially termed the Communist Party Committee Secretary for a certain region, is the leader of the local Communist Party of China division, and in most cases, the de facto first-in-charge of its...

 for Guizhou
Guizhou
' is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its provincial capital city is Guiyang.- History :...

 province and the Tibet Autonomous Region
Tibet Autonomous Region
The Tibet Autonomous Region , Tibet or Xizang for short, also called the Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China , created in 1965....

, and then later first Secretary of the CPC Secretariat and Vice-President
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
The Vice President of the People's Republic of China , formerly called Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China from 1954 to 1975, or abbreviated Guójiā Fù Zhǔxí 国家副主席, literally State Vice-chairman) is a senior position in the government of the People's Republic of China.-Selection and...

 under former leader Jiang Zemin. Hu is the first leader of the Communist Party without any significant revolutionary credentials. As such, his rise to the presidency represented China's transition of leadership from establishment communists to younger, more pragmatic technocrat
Technocracy (bureaucratic)
Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Economists, engineers, scientists, health professionals, and those who have knowledge, expertise or skills would compose the governing body...

s.

During his term in office, Hu reintroduced state control in some sectors of the economy that were relaxed by the previous administration
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

, and has been conservative with political reforms. Along with his colleague, Premier
Premier of the People's Republic of China
The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , sometimes also referred to as the "Prime Minister" informally, is the Leader of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , who is the head of government and holds the highest-ranking of the Civil service of the...

 Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

, Hu presided over nearly a decade of consistent economic growth and development that cemented China as a major world power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

. He sought to improve socio-economic equality domestically through the Scientific Development Concept
Scientific Development Concept
The scientific development concept, sometimes translated as the scientific development perspective, is the current official guiding socio-economic ideology of the Communist Party of China incorporating sustainable development, social welfare, a humanistic society, increased democracy, and,...

, which aimed to build a "Harmonious Society
Harmonious society
The construction of a Harmonious Society is a socio-economic vision that is said to be the ultimate end result of Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept. It serves as the ultimate goal for the ruling Communist Party of China along with Xiaokang society,...

" that was prosperous and free of social conflict. Meanwhile, Hu kept a tight lid on China politically, cracking down on social disturbances, ethnic minority protests, and dissident figures. In foreign policy, Hu advocated for "China's peaceful development
China's peaceful rise
China's peaceful rise was a phrase that was used by officials and scholars in the People's Republic of China to describe the country's foreign policy approach in the early 21st century...

", pursuing soft power
Soft power
Soft power is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It can be contrasted with 'hard power', that is the use of coercion and payment...

 in international relations and a business-oriented approach to diplomacy. Through Hu's tenure, China's influence in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, and other developing countries has increased.

Hu possesses a low-key and reserved leadership style, and is reportedly a firm believer in consensus-based rule. These traits have made Hu a rather bland figure in the public eye, embodying the focus in Chinese politics on technocratic competence rather than personality. Due to term restrictions, Hu must step down as General Secretary in 2012 and President in 2013.

Early life


Hu Jintao was born in Taizhou, Jiangsu
Taizhou, Jiangsu
Taizhou is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu province of eastern China. Situated on the north bank of the Yangtze River, it borders Nantong to the east, Yancheng to the north and Yangzhou to the west....

 on 21 December 1942. His branch of the family migrated from Jixi County
Jixi County
Jixi County is a county in Anhui Province, People's Republic of China, under the jurisdiction of Xuancheng City. It has a population of 180,000 and an area of . Jixi borders Lingan in the east, Ningguo and Jingde in the south, and Taiping to the west...

 of Anhui
Anhui
Anhui is a province in the People's Republic of China. Located in eastern China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny...

 province to Jiangyan during his grandfather's generation. Official records therefore describe him as a native of Jixi without mention of Jiangsu.

Though his father owned a small tea trading business in Taizhou, the family was relatively poor. His mother died when he was seven, and he was raised by an aunt. Hu's father was later denounced during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

, an event that (together with his relatively humble origins) apparently had a deep effect upon Hu, who diligently tried to clear his father's name.

Hu was a gifted student in high school, excelling in activities such as singing and dancing. In 1964, while still a student at Beijing's Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University , colloquially known in Chinese as Qinghua, is a university in Beijing, China. The school is one of the nine universities of the C9 League. It was established in 1911 under the name "Tsinghua Xuetang" or "Tsinghua College" and was renamed the "Tsinghua School" one year later...

, Hu joined the Communist Party of China (CPC), before the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. He was the chairman of Tsinghua Student Union
Tsinghua Student Union
Before the foundation of PRC, Tsinghua Student Union was called "Students Autonomy Association". The first session of Tsinghua Student Union was founded by the Communist Party in April, 1949....

 at that time. He graduated in hydraulic engineering
Hydraulic engineering
This article is about civil engineering. For the mechanical engineering discipline see Hydraulic machineryHydraulic engineering as a sub-discipline of civil engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water and sewage. One feature of these systems is the extensive...

 in 1965. At Tsinghua, Hu met a fellow student Liu Yongqing
Liu Yongqing
Liu Yongqing is the wife of Hu Jintao, the current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China. Liu Yongqing has, as is the Chinese custom, retained her maiden name. Traditionally, Liu Yongqing’s role would be primarily domestic but this is...

, now his wife. They have a son and a daughter named Hu Haifeng
Hu Haifeng
Hu Haifeng is a Chinese businessman and the son of Chinese President Hu Jintao.-Biography:Hu Haifeng was the president of Nuctech, a Tsinghua University-owned company created in the late 1990s to make large scanners for shipping, trucking containers and railway cars, as well as luggage scanners...

 and Hu Haiqing respectively.

In 1968, Hu volunteered for his service in Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 and worked on the construction of Liujiaxia Hydroelectric Station
Liujiaxia Dam
The Liujiaxia Dam is a major hydroelectric dam on the upper Yellow River, in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture of China's Gansu Province. The dam and its hydroelectric facility are located in Liujia Gorge, or Liujiaxia , just downstream from the fall of the Tao River into the Yellow River...

 while also managing Party affairs for the local branch of the Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power. From 1969 to 1974, Hu worked for Sinohydro Engineering Bureau, as an engineer.

Early political career


In 1973, Hu was transferred to the Construction Department of Gansu as a secretary. The next year he was promoted to vice senior chief. In 1980, Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 implemented the "Four Transformations" program, which aimed to produce communist leaders who were "more revolutionary, younger, more knowledgeable, and more specialized." In response to this nation-wide search for young party members, Song Ping
Song Ping
Song Ping was an official in the Communist Party of China, a former member of the Standing Committee, and is considered a member of the Second Generation of Chinese Leadership.-Biography:...

, the first secretary of CPC Gansu Committee (Gansu's governor) discovered Hu Jintao and promoted him several ranks to the position of deputy head of the commission. Another protégé of Song, Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

, also became prominent at the same time.

In 1982, Hu was promoted to the position of Communist Youth League Gansu Branch Secretary and was appointed as the director of the All-China Youth Federation
All-China Youth Federation
The All-China Youth Federation is an organization founded in 1949 that represents many youth groups in China, including the Communist Youth League of China...

. His mentor Song Ping was transferred to Beijing as Minister of Organization of the Communist Party of China, and was in charge of senior cadres' recommendation, candidacy and promotion. With the support of Hu Yaobang and Deng Xiaoping, Hu was assured of a bright future in the party. At Song Ping's suggestion, in 1982 central Party authorities invited Hu to Beijing to study at the Central Party School. Soon after, he was transferred to Beijing and appointed as secretariat of the Communist Youth League Central Committee ("CY Central"). Two years later Hu was promoted to First Secretary of CY Central, thus its actual leader. During his term in the Youth League, Hu escorted Hu Yaobang, who was General Secretary of CPC then, in visits around the country. Hu Yaobang, himself a veteran coming from the Youth League, could reminiscence his youth through Hu's company.

Party Committee Secretary of Guizhou


In 1985, Hu Yaobang pushed for Hu Jintao to be transferred to Guizhou
Guizhou
' is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its provincial capital city is Guiyang.- History :...

 as the provincial Committee Secretary of Communist Party of China. Hu attempted to improve the economy of the backwater province, and reputedly visited all of its eighty-six counties. While in Guizhou, Hu was careful to follow Beijing's directives and had a reputation of being "airtight"; he rarely would offer his views on policy matters in public. While Hu was generally seen as an official with integrity and honesty, some locals preferred his predecessor Zhu Houze. In 1987, Hu Jintao handled the local students protest parallel to the Democracy Wall
Democracy Wall
The Democracy Wall was a long brick wall on Xidan Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, which became the focus for democratic dissent. Beginning in December 1978, in line with the Communist Party of China's policy of "seeking truth from facts," activists in the Democracy movement—such as Xu...

 carefully, whereas in Beijing similar protests resulted in Hu Yaobang's forced resignation.

Tenure in Tibet


The exit of his patron Hu Yaobang from the political scene was initially seen as unfavourable towards Hu Jintao. He drew criticism from party elders for failing to criticize the ousted reformer. In 1988, Hu was transferred to become Party Regional Committee Secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the restive area's number-one figure, while also taking on the role of Political Commissar
Political commissar
The political commissar is the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education and organisation, and loyalty to the government of the military...

 of the local People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 units. A number of Tibetans have long been opposed to government policy in the region and unrest and ethnic conflict were brewing, particularly anti-Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 sentiments amongst local Tibetans. Minor clashes had been occurring since 1987, and when the scale of unrest grew, Hu responded with the deployment of some 1,700 People's Armed Police
People's Armed Police
The People's Armed Police , officially Chinese People's Armed Police Force is a paramilitary or gendarmerie force primarily responsible for civilian policing and fire rescue duties in the People's Republic of China, as well as provide support to PLA during wartime.In contrast to public security...

 into Lhasa in February 1989 in an attempt to warn against further disturbance. Increased clashes culminated in serious rioting in Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

's core on 5 March 1989, five days before the 30th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising
1959 Tibetan uprising
The 1959 Tibetan uprising, or 1959 Tibetan Rebellion began on 10 March 1959, when a revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the effective control of the Communist Party of China since the Seventeen Point Agreement in 1951...

. What occurred after is a matter of dispute: rioters accused the police of shooting them arbitrarily, and the police claiming that they had acted in self-defense. In addition, there was speculation that Hu delayed his orders to clamp down on the protesters until late into the evening, when the police chief was forced to act because the situation was spiraling out of control. The protesters were suppressed early into the next day, and Hu asked Beijing to declare martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on 8 March.

Hu's role in the demonstrations and rioting on March 5 was never made clear. While it is general protocol that Hu must have at least implicitly approved the use of force against protesters, whether he actually gave orders throughout March 5 is a matter of debate. In addition, John Tkacik cites that Hu had been coordinating with the Chengdu Military Region for troops to be on full alert as the situation progressed. Some diplomatic analysts linked what they saw as Hu's brutal use of force to the suppression of activists and students at in Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

, which took place a mere three months later. Whether Hu provided "inspiration" for the PLA on June 4 is a matter of debate, but it was clear that Hu's actions in Lhasa earned him unprecedented attention in the upper echelons of party power, including paramount leader Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

. When tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, Hu was one of the first regional leaders to declare his support for the central authorities. Hu experienced high-altitude sickness in June 1990, and returned to Beijing, but remained in his position for another two years, during which Hu achieved little. But his departure to Beijing was seen as a means to return to the centrefold of Chinese politics, which led to some doubts as to whether or not he was as ill as he had claimed.

Candidacy


Before the opening of the 14th National Congress of the CPC in 1992, the Party's senior leaders, including Deng and Chen Yun
Chen Yun
Chen Yun was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China during the 1980s and 90s, and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China for almost its entire history. He was also known as Liao Chengyun ; it's unclear whether this was his original name or a pseudonym...

, were to select candidates for the Politburo Standing Committee to ensure a smooth transition of power from the so-called second-generation leaders (Deng, Chen, Li Xiannian
Li Xianniàn
Li Xiannian was President of the People's Republic of China between 1983 and 1988 and then chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference until his death. He was an influential political figure throughout the PRC, having been a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of...

, Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen was a Chinese political figure and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.-Early years:Like most Chinese communist leaders, Wang was a commander in his early years...

, etc.) to third-generation Communist Party of China leaders (Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

, Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

, Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi is a politician in the People's Republic of China. He was born as Jiang Zhitong , to parents of Dinghai, Zhejiang province ancestry. He is said to be distantly related to Chiang Kai-shek's family and this was the cause for the persecution he suffered during the Cultural Revolution...

 etc.). Deng also proposed that they should consider another candidate for a further future transition, preferably someone under fifty to represent the next generation of leaders. Song
Song Ping
Song Ping was an official in the Communist Party of China, a former member of the Standing Committee, and is considered a member of the Second Generation of Chinese Leadership.-Biography:...

, as the organization chief, recommended Hu as an ideal candidate for the prospect of a future leader. As a result, shortly before his 50th birthday, Hu Jintao became the youngest member of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee
Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, whose membership varies between 5 and 9 people. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are...

, and the second youngest Politburo Standing Committee member ever since the CPC took power in 1949.

In 1993, Hu took charge of the Secretariat of the CPC
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 Central Committee, which oversaw day-to-day operations of the Central Committee, and the Central Party School, which was convenient for him to bring up his own supporters among senior CPC cadres. Hu was also put in charge of the ideological work of the CPC. Although Hu was considered heir apparent to Jiang, he always took great care to ensure that Jiang be at the center of the spotlight. In late 1998, Hu promoted Jiang's unpopular movement of the "Three Stresses" "stress study, stress politics, and stress healthy trends" giving speeches to promote it. In 2001, he publicized Jiang's Three Represents
Three Represents
The Three Represents is a socio-political ideology credited to General Secretary Jiang Zemin which became a guiding ideology of the Communist Party of China at its Sixteenth Party Congress in 2002....

 theory, which Jiang hoped to place him on the same level as other Marxist theoreticians. As a result, he left the public with an impression of being low-key, courteous, and adept at forming coalitions. In 1998, Hu became Vice-President of China, and Jiang wanted Hu to play a more active role in foreign affairs. Hu became China's leading voice during the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade
NATO Bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade
On May 7, 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia , five US JDAM bombs hit the People's Republic of China embassy in the Belgrade district of New Belgrade, killing three Chinese reporters and outraging the Chinese public. President Bill Clinton later apologized for the bombing, stating it was...

 in 1999.

Secretaryship and Presidency



Since taking over as Party General Secretary at the Sixteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Sixteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing between November 8-14 2002. 2,114 delegates and 40 specially invited delegates elected a 356-member 16th CPC Central Committee, as well as a 121-member Central Commission for Discipline Inspection...

, Hu and his premier, Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

, proposed to set up a Harmonious Society
Harmonious society
The construction of a Harmonious Society is a socio-economic vision that is said to be the ultimate end result of Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept. It serves as the ultimate goal for the ruling Communist Party of China along with Xiaokang society,...

 which aims at lessening the inequality and changing the style of the "GDP first and Welfare Second" policies. They focused on sectors of the Chinese population that have been left behind by the economic reform, and have taken a number of high profile trips to the poorer areas of China with the stated goal of understanding these areas better. Hu and Wen Jiabao have also attempted to move China away from a policy of favouring economic growth at all costs and toward a more balanced view of growth that includes factors in social inequality and environmental damage, including the use of the green gross domestic product
Green Gross Domestic Product
The green gross domestic product is an index of economic growth with the environmental consequences of that growth factored in. Green GDP monetizes the loss of biodiversity, and accounts for costs caused by climate change...

 in personnel decisions. Jiang's clique, however, maintained control in most developing areas, therefore Hu and Wen's measures of macroeconomic regulation faced great resistance.

SARS crisis


The first crisis of Hu's leadership happened during the outbreak of SARS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

 in 2003. Following strong criticism of China for initially covering up and responding slowly to the crisis, he dismissed several party and government officials, including the health minister, who supported Jiang, and the Mayor of Beijing, Meng Xuenong, widely perceived as Hu's protégé. Meng's dismissal was sometimes seen as a yielding compromise to erode Jiang's support in the party. Hu and Wen took steps to increase the transparency of China's reporting to international health organizations, indirectly dealing a blow to Jiang's stance on the issue at hand.

Succession of Jiang Zemin



On 15 November 2002, a new Hu Jintao-led Politburo nominally succeeded Jiang. Although Jiang, then 76, stepped down from the powerful General Secretary and the Politburo Standing Committee to make way for a younger fourth generation
Generations of Chinese leadership
Because both the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army promote according to seniority, it is possible to discern distinct generations of Chinese leadership...

of leadership, there was speculation that Jiang would retain significant influence because Hu was not associated with Jiang's influential Shanghai clique
Shanghai clique
The Shanghai clique or Shanghai faction is the name given to an informal group of officials in the Communist Party of China, especially those who serve in the central government of the People's Republic of China or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, who rose to prominence in...

, to which six out of the nine members of the all-powerful Standing Committee were believed to be linked. However, later developments show that many of its members have shifted their positions. Zeng Qinghong, for example, moved from a disciple of Jiang to serving as an intermediary between the two factions. In 2003, Jiang was also re-elected to the post of Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission
A Central Military Commission or National Defense Commission is an organisation typical of Communist one-party states, responsible for supervising the nation's armed forces....

 of the CPC, a post from which Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 was able to wield power from behind the scenes as 'paramount leader', thus retaining military power.

Western observers attribute a sense of caution to Hu's philosophies, citing China's recent history of fallen heirs. Deng Xiaoping appointed three party General Secretaries, all designed to be successors, and was instrumental in the ousting of two of them, Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang was a leader of the People's Republic of China who served as both Chairman and Party General Secretary. Hu joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s, and rose to prominence as a comrade of Deng Xiaoping...

 and Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

. His third and final selection, Jiang Zemin, won Deng's continued, although ambiguous backing and was the only General Secretary in Communist Chinese history to voluntarily leave his post when his term ended.

Although many believe Hu was originally hand-picked by Deng as the youngest member of China's top leadership and a leading candidate to succeed Jiang, he had exercised a great deal of political skills between 1992 and 2002 to consolidate his position, and eventually emerged as Jiang's heir apparent in his own right. Hu also benefited from the slow but progressive institutionalization of power succession within the Party, something his predecessors lacked entirely. Since the early 1980s, the People's Republic of China has been marked by progressive institutionalization and rule by consensus, and moved away from the Maoist authoritarian model. Although a western-style legal institution and rule of law remain to be put in place, Hu's power succession was conducted in a fairly orderly and civil manner, which was unprecedented in Communist China's history. This trend is expected to continue and an institutionalized mechanism of power transition is expected to emerge, first perhaps within the Party. In fact, it has been one of the Party's stated major goals to create an orderly system of succession and mechanism to prevent informal rule and a cult of personality
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships...

.

The rivalry between Jiang and Hu after Jiang stepped down from his posts was, arguably, an inevitable product of China's tradition of succession. Some analysts argue that although Jiang has consolidated power by the time he retired, his ideological stature within the Communist Party remains shaky at best, thus Jiang had to buy time to ensure that his ideological legacy such as the Three Represents
Three Represents
The Three Represents is a socio-political ideology credited to General Secretary Jiang Zemin which became a guiding ideology of the Communist Party of China at its Sixteenth Party Congress in 2002....

, is enshrined in China's socialism doctrine. Jiang resigned as Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission
A Central Military Commission or National Defense Commission is an organisation typical of Communist one-party states, responsible for supervising the nation's armed forces....

 in September 2004, his last official post. Whether this is the result of pressure from Hu or a personal decision is up for speculation. Since then Hu has officially taken on the three institutions in the People's Republic of China where power lie, the party, the state, as well as the military
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

, thus informally, has become the paramount leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

.

Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao inherited a China wrought with internal social, political and environmental problems. One of the biggest challenges Hu faces is the large wealth disparity between the Chinese rich and poor, for which discontent and anger mounted to a degree which wreaked havoc on communist rule. Furthermore, the cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

 and corruption plaguing China's civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

, military, educational, judicial and medical systems sought to destroy the country bit by bit. In the beginning of 2006, however, Hu launched the "8 Honours and 8 Disgraces" movement in a bid to promote a more selfless and moral outlook amongst the population. China's increasingly fragile environment has caused massive urban pollution, sandstorm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s and the destruction of vast tracts of habitable land. It remains to be seen if Hu, usually cautious in nature, is capable of managing the continued peaceful development of China while avoiding international incidents, at the same time presiding over an unprecedented increase in Chinese nationalist
Chinese nationalism
Chinese nationalism , sometimes synonymous with Chinese patriotism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture in a unified country known as China...

 sentiment.

At the 17th CPC National Congress
17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, China, at the Great Hall of the People from 15 to 21 October 2007. The Congress marked significant shift in the political direction of the country as CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao solidified his position of leadership...

, Hu was re-elected as General Secretary and Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

 on 22 October 2007. At the 11th National People's Congress
11th National People's Congress
The 11th National People's Congress is in session from 2008 to 2013. It is scheduled to hold five plenary sessions in this period, occurring around early March every year. There are 2,985 deputies to this Congress.-The 1st Plenary Session:...

, Hu was re-elected as President on 15 March 2008. He was also re-elected as Chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

.

Scientific Perspective and Harmonious Society



Political observers indicate that Hu has distinguished himself from his predecessor in both domestic and foreign policy. Hu's political philosophy during his presidency is summarized by three slogans — a "Harmonious Society
Harmonious society
The construction of a Harmonious Society is a socio-economic vision that is said to be the ultimate end result of Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept. It serves as the ultimate goal for the ruling Communist Party of China along with Xiaokang society,...

" domestically and "Peaceful Development" internationally, the former aided by the Scientific Development Concept
Scientific Development Concept
The scientific development concept, sometimes translated as the scientific development perspective, is the current official guiding socio-economic ideology of the Communist Party of China incorporating sustainable development, social welfare, a humanistic society, increased democracy, and,...

, which seeks integrated sets of solutions to arrays of economic, environmental and social problems, and recognizes, in inner circles, a need for cautious and gradual political reforms. The Scientific Development doctrine has been written into the Communist Party and State Constitutions in 2007
17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, China, at the Great Hall of the People from 15 to 21 October 2007. The Congress marked significant shift in the political direction of the country as CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao solidified his position of leadership...

 and 2008
2008 National People's Congress
The 1st Plenary Session of the 11th National People's Congress held its annual meeting from March 5 to March 18, 2008 in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, in conjunction with the 2008 CPPCC....

, respectively. The role of the Party has changed, as formulated by Deng Xiaoping and implemented by Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

, from a revolutionary party to a ruling party. Hu continues the Party’s modernization, calling for both "Advancement" of the Party and its increasing transparency in governance.

What emerges from these philosophies, in the view of Hu, is a country with systematic approach to national structure and development that combines dynamic economic growth, a free market energized by a vigorous "nonpublic" (i.e., private) sector, heavy-handed political and media control, personal but not political freedoms, concern for the welfare of all citizens, cultural enlightenment, and a synergistic approach to diverse social issues (the Scientific Development Perspective) that lead, in Hu’s vision, to a "Harmonious Society". In the view of the Chinese government, these philosophies, which has created a new "China Model" of governance, serves as a legitimate alternative to the West's "Democracy Model", particularly for developing countries. In Hu’s words, "A harmonious society should feature democracy, the rule of law, equity, justice, sincerity, amity and vitality." Such a society, he says, will give full scope to people's talent and creativity, enable all the people to share the social wealth brought by reform and development, and forge an ever closer relationship between the people and government.

Western criticism of Hu, particularly regarding human rights, exposes his hypersensitivity to social stability but does not lay as much emphasis on his fresh commitment to address China’s multi-faceted social problems
Social issues in the People's Republic of China
Social issues in the People's Republic of China in the 21st century are varied and wide-ranging, and are a combined result of the Chinese economic reforms set in place in the late 1970s, China's political and cultural history, and an immense population...

. Hu’s pragmatic, non-ideological agenda has two core values—maintaining social stability to further economic development and sustaining Chinese culture to enrich national sovereignty. In domestic policy, he seems to want more openness to the public on governmental functions and meetings. Recently, China's news agency published many Politburo Standing Committee meeting details. He also cancelled many events that are traditionally seen as communist extravagances, such as the lavish send-off and welcoming-back ceremonies of Chinese leaders when visiting foreign lands. Furthermore the Chinese leadership under Hu has also focused on such problems as the gap between rich and poor and uneven development between the interior and coastal regions. Both party and state seem to have moved away from a definition of development that focuses solely on GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 growth and toward a definition which includes social equality and environment effects.

In 2004, Hu gave an unprecedented showing and ordered all cadres from the five major power functions to stop the tradition of going to the Beidaihe seaside retreat for their annual summer meeting which, before, was commonly seen as a gathering of ruling elites from both current and elder cadres to decide China's destiny, and also an unnecessary waste of public funds. The move was seen by the Chinese public as symbolic of Hu's attitude towards corruption.

In June 2007, Hu gave an important speech at the Central Party School that was indicative of his position of power and his guiding philosophies. In the speech Hu used a very populist tone to appeal to ordinary Chinese, making serious note of the recent challenges China has been facing, especially with regards to income disparity. In addition, Hu noted the need for "increased democracy" in the country. Although the term has different meanings in the party than it does in the general Western sense, it shows that Hu's administration has placed political reform as an important part of the agenda in the coming years, a tone that was nonexistent during the Jiang era.

Media control


Despite initial expectations that Hu was a "closet liberal", Hu has shown a fairly hard-line approach to liberalisation of the media.

The media has been given greater latitude in reporting many topics of popular concern, such as the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
2008 Sichuan earthquake
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 Msand 7.9 Mw occurred at 14:28:01 CST...

, as well as into malpractices at the local level. The government has also been responsive to criticism of its media policy, for example in response to the SARS epidemic, and in regard to public commemorations of popular, but deposed, former leader Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

.

Hu has been very cautious with regards to the Internet, choosing to censor politically sensitive material to a degree more strict than the Jiang era. In February 2007, Hu embarked on further domestic media controls that restricted primetime TV series to "morally correct" content—he objected to lowbrow
Low culture
Low culture is a term for some forms of popular culture. Its opposite is high culture. It has been said by culture theorists that both high culture and low culture are subcultures....

 programming including some reality shows—on all Chinese TV stations, and listed "20 forbidden areas" of coverage on news reporting.

Taiwan



Early in his presidency, Hu faced an independence-supporting counterpart in the form of then-President of the Republic of China Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

. Chen called for talks without any preconditions, repudiating the 1992 consensus
1992 Consensus
The 1992 Consensus or Consensus of 1992 is a term describing the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semi-official representatives of the People's Republic of China in mainland China and the Republic of China in Taiwan...

. Chen Shui-bian and his party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 had continued to express an ultimate goal of Taiwanese independence, and make statements on the political status of Taiwan
Political status of Taiwan
The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan hinges on whether Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu should remain effectively independent as territory of the Republic of China , become unified with the territories now governed by the People's Republic of China , or formally declare...

 that the PRC considers provocative. Hu's initial response was a combination of "soft" and "hard" approaches. On the one hand, Hu expressed a flexibility to negotiate on many issues of concern to Taiwan. On the other hand, he continued to refuse talks without preconditions and remained committed to Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

 as an ultimate goal. While Hu Jintao gave some signs of being more flexible with regard to political relationships with Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 as in his 17 May Statement where he offered to address the issue of "international living space" for Taiwan, Hu's government remains firm in its position that the Mainland side will not tolerate any attempt by the Taiwanese government to declare de jure independence from China.

After the re-election of Chen Shui-bian in 2004, Hu's government changed tactics. Hu's government has conducted a no contact policy with the then Taipei administration due to Chen Shui-Bian and the DPP's independence leanings and repudiation of the 1992 consensus. The government maintained its military build-up against Taiwan, and pursued a vigorous policy of isolating Taiwan diplomatically. In March 2005, the Anti-Secession Law was passed by the National People's Congress
National People's Congress
The National People's Congress , abbreviated NPC , is the highest state body and the only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China; with 2,987 members, it is the...

, formalising "non-peaceful means" as an option of response to a declaration of independence in Taiwan.

Hu's government increased contacts with the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT), its fundamental foe since the start of the Communist Revolution in the 1920s, and still a major party in Taiwan. The relationship between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang dates back to when the two parties twice co-operated in the Northern Expedition, only to become bitter foes during the Chinese civil war
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 though they remained nominally allies during the war against Japan
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 before hostilities resumed between them after 1945 and Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan in 1949. The increased contacts culminated in the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China
2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China
The 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China were a series of groundbreaking visits by delegations of the Kuomintang to mainland China. They were hailed as the highest level of exchange between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing,...

, including a historic meeting between Hu and then-KMT chairman Lien Chan
Lien Chan
Lien Chan is a politician in Taiwan. He was Premier of the Republic of China from 1993 to 1997, Vice President of the Republic of China from 1996 to 2000, and was the Chairman of the Kuomintang from 2000 to 2005...

 in April 2005.

On 20 March 2008, the Kuomintang won the presidency in Taiwan. It also has a majority in the Legislative Yuan
Legislative Yuan
The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China .The Legislative Yuan is one of the five branches of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People...

. Compared to his predecessors, who often dictated conditions to Taiwan, Hu has been proactive in seeking ties with Taiwan, especially with the pro-unification Kuomintang party.

A series of historical meetings between the CPC and KMT have followed. On 12 April 2008, Hu Jintao held a historic meeting with ROC's then vice-president elect Vincent Siew
Vincent Siew
Vincent C. Siew Wan-chang is the incumbent Vice President of the Republic of China. He was the first Taiwanese-born Premier of the Republic of China and former vice-chairman of the Kuomintang .-Biography:...

 as chairman of the Cross-strait Common Market Foundation during the Boao Forum for Asia
Boao Forum for Asia
The Boao Forum for Asia , abbreviated to BFA, is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large. BFA is modelled...

. On 28 May 2008, Hu met with KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung
Wu Poh-hsiung
Wu Po-hsiung , is a politician in the Republic of China who formerly served as chairman of the Kuomintang . He has been the Interior Minister, Mayor of Taipei , Secretary-General to the President, and Chairman of the Kuomintang...

, the first meeting between the heads of the CPC and the KMT as ruling parties. During this meeting, Hu and Wu agreed that both sides should re-commence official dialogue under the 1992 consensus. Wu committed the new government in Taiwan against Taiwanese independence Hu committed his government to addressing the concerns of the Taiwanese people in regard to security, dignity, and "international living space", with a priority given to allowing Taiwanese participation in the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

.

As well as the party-to-party channel, the semi-governmental dialogue channel via the Straits Exchange Foundation
Straits Exchange Foundation
The Straits Exchange Foundation is a semi-official organization set up by the Republic of China government to handle technical or business matters with the People's Republic of China...

 and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits is an organization set up by the People's Republic of China for handling technical or business matters with the Republic of China ....

 is scheduled to re-open in June 2008 on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, with the first meeting held in Beijing. Both Hu and his new counterpart Ma Ying-jeou
Ma Ying-jeou
Ma Ying-jeou is the 12th term and current President of the Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, and the Chairman of the Kuomintang Party, also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party. He formerly served as Justice Minister from 1993 to 1996, Mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006, and Chairman...

 agree that the 1992 Consensus is the basis for negotiations between the two sides of the Taiwan strait. On 26 March 2008, Hu Jintao held a telephone talk with then US President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, in which he as the leader of CPC for the first time admitted that "1992 Consensus" sees "both sides recognize there is only one China, but agree to differ on its definition." The first priority for the SEF-ARATS meeting will be opening of the three links
Three Links
The Three Links or Three Linkages was a "message of Compatriots in Taiwan" calling for the unification of mainland China and Taiwan. It was sent by the PRC National People's Congress in 1979....

, especially direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan.

Moral guidance


In response to the great number of social problems in China, in March 2006, Hu Jintao released the "Eight Honors and Eight Shames" as a set of moral codes to be followed by the Chinese people, and emphasized the need to spread the message to youth. Alternatively known as the "Eight Honors and Disgraces", it contained eight poetic lines which summarized what a good citizen should regard as an honor and what to regard as a shame. It has been widely regarded as one of Hu Jintao's ideological solutions to the perceived increasing lack of morality in China after Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

s brought in a generation of Chinese predominantly concerned with earning money and power in an increasingly frail social fabric.

It has become a norm for Chinese communist leaders to make their own contributions to Marxist theory. Whether this is Hu's contribution to Marxist theory is debatable, but its general reception with the Chinese public has been moderate. Its promotion, however, is visible almost everywhere: in classroom posters, banners on the street, and electronic display boards for the preparation of the 2008 Olympics, and World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The codes differ from the ideologies of his predecessors, namely, Jiang's Three Represents, Deng Xiaoping Theory
Deng Xiaoping Theory
Deng Xiaoping Theory , also known as Dengism, is the series of political and economic ideologies first developed by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. In theory, it does not reject Marxism or Mao Zedong Thought but instead seeks to adapt them to the existing socio-economic conditions of China.Since the...

, and Mao Zedong Thought in that the focus, for the first time, has been shifted to codifying moral standards as opposed to setting social or economic goals.

Personal life


Hu is married to Liu Yongqing
Liu Yongqing
Liu Yongqing is the wife of Hu Jintao, the current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China. Liu Yongqing has, as is the Chinese custom, retained her maiden name. Traditionally, Liu Yongqing’s role would be primarily domestic but this is...

, whom he met at Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University , colloquially known in Chinese as Qinghua, is a university in Beijing, China. The school is one of the nine universities of the C9 League. It was established in 1911 under the name "Tsinghua Xuetang" or "Tsinghua College" and was renamed the "Tsinghua School" one year later...

. They have two children together, Hu Haifeng
Hu Haifeng
Hu Haifeng is a Chinese businessman and the son of Chinese President Hu Jintao.-Biography:Hu Haifeng was the president of Nuctech, a Tsinghua University-owned company created in the late 1990s to make large scanners for shipping, trucking containers and railway cars, as well as luggage scanners...

 and Hu Haiqing. Hu is the first PRC paramount leader to speak relatively unaccented Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 without strongly regional characteristics. He is well known as having a cautious attitude and a self-deprecatory
Self-deprecation
Self-deprecation, or Self-depreciation, is the act of belittling or undervaluing oneself. It can be used in humor and tension release.-In comedy:...

 personality. Unlike Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

, the Premier, he has never granted a public one-on-one interview. He has been noted for his liking for table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

 and ballroom dancing. Hu is also said to possess a photographic memory that became evident in his high school days.

External links


  • Hu Jintao (ChinaVitae.com)
  • Hu Jintao calls for upholding Marxism (Xinhua
    Xinhua News Agency
    The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the government of the People's Republic of China and the biggest center for collecting information and press conferences in the PRC. It is the largest news agency in the PRC, ahead of the China News Service...

    )
  • Hu Jintao's political philosophies and policies by Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn
    Robert Lawrence Kuhn
    Robert Lawrence Kuhn is an international investment banker, corporate strategist, and public intellectual. With a doctorate in brain research and the author or editor of over twenty-five books, he is a commentator on business, finance, and China; long-time adviser to the Chinese government;...

  • China's leader shows his stripes 2005 BBC article arguing Hu more hardline than he initially appeared
  • Requiem for Reform? Zhao Ziyang's vision of political change in China dims as Hu Jintao hardens the Party line (Time Asia)

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